Why is entrepreneurship education important?

How can you help young people identify their own strengths? Or encourage them towards sustainability and participation? And how can you practice and implement the comprehensive competence and operational culture defined in the curriculum?

Entrepreneurship education is the answer to all of these questions!

New skills – learning by doing!

Schools and other educational institutes have an important role in predicting future competence needs and helping young people learn these necessary skills. In addition to theoretical information, the skills needed in the future should be practiced in action. When children and young people get to come up with ideas, try them out, make mistakes and try again, this will help them learn and gain new insights. Entrepreneurship education in schools offers a safe environment to test out one’s creativity, financial skills and entrepreneurial attitude for the purposes of real life. 

The learning materials and services provided by the Junior Achievement association suit many kinds of students, and adapting the assignments is easy.

A study: Working life skills and study motivation through entrepreneurship education

According to an ICEE study, the young people who had participated in the JA Company Program have more school motivation than those who did not take part. They had gained understanding on how and why the information they have learned is needed in real life. In Finland, entrepreneurship education had more impact on communications and mathematical skills and decision-making than in the other reference countries.

Some of the teachers who answered the survey estimated that the working methods applied in entrepreneurship education improved the interactions between the students and the teacher and helped the teacher understand the young people better.

About 12,000 people from five different countries (Belgium, Italy, Latvia, Finland and Estonia, 2018) took part in the two-year ICEE study.

Learn more about the study (in Finnish)

Entrepreneurship skills benefit everyone

Increased self-knowledge

The goal of entrepreneurship education is that the child or young person will learn to identify their strengths. Learner-centric, functional teaching methods increase the wellbeing of students as well as their self-knowledge.

Flexibility and ability for change

Trying out new things and taking risks will also lead to failures. The opportunity to learn from one’s mistakes increases resilience and persistence: It improves the ability to tolerate uncertainty and survive setbacks in order to start anew.

Insights through practicing

Solving real problems is motivating and meaningful. Entrepreneurship education allows for creating learning situations where the students solve real issues and test their ideas. The learning process can be taken out of the classroom, and students can learn by doing.

Creativity and teamwork

Entrepreneurship education practices the ability to change ideas into action. Teamwork will be a key aspect of future working life. Each member of a team has the responsibility to offer their expertise to the whole team. Working in a team also requires good social skills, and practicing them already in school is important.

What do teachers think about entrepreneurship education?

Teachers Tuija Tiala from Hämeenlinna and Jenni Korte from Helsinki
Primary school teacher Kirsi Väntsilä from Tampere
Teacher Eini Mäntylä from Hämeenlinna
Young people watching video

A more equal basis for working life

Many young people find their first job with the help of their parents. This was the result of a survey carried out by Eezy Oyj in spring 2022. The parents’ networks and abilities to help facilitate young people’s chances of finding employment. This puts the young people on an unequal footing, and our objective is to allow all children and young people to practice their working life and entrepreneurship skills while still in school or in another educational institution. Many young people require help and support for finding a job or an internship, writing a job application or getting a job interview.

The Junior Achievement programs allow children and young people to explore working life and teach them how to manage their own finances.

Being able to build networks between young people and the business life is also important to us. Over the years, our young participants have found several mentors from different workplaces, and company representatives take part in our events as jury members, coaching the young people and getting to know them and their training companies. At the same time, the young people will get to know different workplaces and learn important tips from experienced professionals in areas such as marketing, pricing or sponsoring, to name just a few. Our Job Shadow Day is another form of networking that has proven to be very inspiring; the young person will get to “shadow” their manager at their workplace for one day.

Would you like to know more?

Mari Rakkolainen

Head of JA Programs and Pedagogical Development

Whole Finland Learning Programs

+358 40 732 6260

[email protected]

Antti Karkiainen

Program Advisor, Primary School

Whole Finland Learning Programs

+358 41 536 6353

[email protected]

Veera Hakaste

Program Advisor, Middle and Upper Secondary Schools

Whole Finland Learning Programs

+358 50 355 9975

[email protected]

Noora Bergroth

Program Advisor, Upper Secondary Vocational Schools

Whole Finland Learning Programs

+358 50 322 1445

[email protected]

Mari Laakso-Suutari

Project Coordinator

Whole Finland Learning Programs

+358 40 749 8552

[email protected]